Streaming Weekly November 2016 4.0

Streaming Weekly November 2016 4.0

On this holiday weekend, you may need a quick recovery for your food coma. Or, you might not be able to move and you need something to pass the time until you can. For either scenario, our contributor’s have a cornucopia of savory recommendations to fill your movie watching gullet. Enjoy their heaping helpings of streaming goodness and have a happy movie watching Thanksgiving weekend everyone!

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via The Film Avenger

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Creed (Amazon Prime) – This was my favorite movie of last year – a triumphant return to the world of Rocky. I must admit that I questioned the need for this film since Rocky Balboa had wrapped up the series so well. But when I saw it, I was so on board for this story. It’s a Rocky for a new generation, shot with the same gritty urban style as the first film. Director Ryan Coogler gives new life to the familiar Rocky format (the first fight was shot in one take and is awesome). Michael B. Jordan is exceptional as the son of Rocky’s one-time rival and friend, Apollo Creed. But it’s Sylvester Stallone that gives the performance of his career as an aged Rocky – a little slow, but still as charismatic as ever. I still believe he was totally robbed of the Oscar.

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via Blake Collier

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Burn After Reading (Netflix) – In an interview, back in 2008, the Coen Brothers were asked about the origins of the narrative in Burn After Reading and they said they had happened upon the question of where the intersections between bureaucracy and fitness would be. The results of that thought experiment became one of the Coen Brothers’ most unhinged and often maligned films. However, the characters are proverbial heirs to the hall of fame of Coen characters. Malkovich’s bull-headed obliviousness, Clooney’s fool-hardy paranoia, Pitt’s lovable idiot and McDormand’s fastidious attention to her physical imperfections created a world of Shakespearean proportions with a healthy dose of dark comedy and blunt violence.

Burn After Reading still holds my #1 spot in the Coens’ filmography much to the chagrin of many. However, the sheer crisis of picking “the best” film by the Coens is folly as each film provides its own existential dread and darkly-tinged humor. In a nearly perfect filmography, it seems to me that championing, perhaps, the most foolish of all is exactly what the Coens would do. Not to mention that the film is infinitely re-watchable and the sparse violent moments still come as an abrupt shock to an otherwise outlandish comedy.

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via Alexis Johnson

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Westworld Season 1 (HBO Now) – I’ll put it plainly… This show is good. Stupidly good. If you’re searching for a truly singular small screen experience, this is it.

Westworld is based on the 1973 film written and directed by Michael Crichton (the novelist who gave us Jurassic Park). This cerebral science fiction is brought to life now by Jonathan Nolan and his wife Lisa Joy. After the fantastic series achievement that was Person of Interest, along with a stellar filmography of screenwriting with his brother Christopher, Jonathan Nolan can just shut up and take my money for the rest of my life.

Jonathan and Lisa know how to tell a story. Their writing is mastery level in terms of suspense, subtlety, complexity, and raw emotion. I also really appreciate that, with the exception of a few scenes (and some non-sexual nudity), they keep things tame and centered on the mysteries of the world. I really expected this show to be over-the-top in the graphic department (like most HBO shows), but Nolan’s influence keeps it focused and artful. Considering the series is a place where you can give into your most carnal desires, I’d say that’s quite a feat!

Westworld has some of the best acting performances I’ve ever seen, like watching skilled painters paint. Each stroke and each expression is unpredictable and leaves you wanting more. These actors often have to go from 0-60 several times in one episode and they nail it. I’m the type of person who has a tendency to guess twists before they happen, and Westworld has turned the tables of my expectations every time. I believe this show maintains its cryptic suspense because of the talent of its actors. It’s so refreshing to be truly surprised every episode.

Like most HBO programs, there are only 10 episodes a season, making it very easy to binge-watch. There are currently only two episodes left to air this first season. So if you don’t like waiting, now is the time to hop aboard the train and get lost in Westworld.
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